Dear colleagues! Very much you can hear from the mouth of novice aquarists such trivial things, when aquarium plants are called algae. Even taking into account some experience in aquarism, not every underwater garden lover understands the difference between algae and higher plants.
In this article, let’s look at this issue once and for all and touch on a little botany.
Many people know that plants are divided into higher and lower. Just algae are considered lower plants. By their nature, algae are the most ancient representatives of flora and fauna that can be found in the aquatic environment.
They are divided into multicellular and unicellular and differ in structure. The main distinguishing feature that can be seen in all algae is reproduction by spores.
A wide variety of algae can be divided into sections. The simplest of them are blue-green algae (Cyanophyta). But all the other representatives of the simplest are somewhat more complicated.
In the aquarium, you can find kelp (Phaeophyta department), green algae (Chlorophyta department), diatom algae (Diatomophyta department), and red algae with purple oats (Rhodophyta department).
How does this infection get into our aquariums? Is it possible to avoid the occurrence of unwanted guests in your underwater garden?
You can bring this muck when feeding your pets with live food, with another beautiful water plant and dust. In all of the above points there can be disputes of one or another algae.
If you investigate using an electron microscope aquarium water or plaque from the walls of the aquarium, then there you will find a solid broth of the simplest. They just deliver a real headache to the aquarist.
But if biological balance is maintained in an aquarium, their concentration is not a threat. If this delicate balance is disturbed for certain reasons, some kind of algae will begin to flourish.
And maybe even a few types, this is already as someone lucky.
These algae create colonies with different colors, which can vary from bright green to blue and brown-green. The main feature of this type of parasite is the abundant secretion of mucus, and their colonies are similar to the gelatinous mass, which has a rather unpleasant smell.
Basically, this type of algae develops under intensive illumination of the aquarium, in filtering materials of external filters, airlifts and on the surface. It turns out that the colony of blue-green stuff most likes the aquatic environment in contact with atmospheric air.
Over a long period of evolution, blue-green algae learned to extract nitrogen and other chemical elements and compounds from their environment from the environment. This method of feeding is called autotrophic. Moreover, they can easily extract organic matter from aquarium water.
And this is another way of nutrition – heterotrophic. If any organism can eat in two ways, then such organisms are called mixotrophs.
The two most common causes of blue-green algae development in aquariums are aquariums with intensive aeration and an excess of organic matter dissolved in aquarium water.
How to deal with them?
In the fight against these algae, you can face some difficulties, and in particular, not a single fish or sanitary mollusk touches them. But all this is in principle not very important, you can deal with them by other methods. The most acceptable method is the most optimal mode in the aquarium.
If you notice the first signs of the formation of colonies of unwanted neighbors, reduce the light intensity in the aquarium, reduce the time and intensity of aeration, carefully remove any excess organic matter from the aquarium. Alternatively, you can put floating plants on the surface (pistis and riccia). Water changes are not worth doing.
In such conditions, uninvited guests themselves will die in two or three weeks. This will occur gradually, not immediately.
But already dead algae colonies are successfully eaten by mollusks.
If you want to achieve a faster effect from the fight with an uninvited guest in your aquarium, then you cannot do without antibiotics and all sorts of dyes. If you combine these drugs, the result will be even better.
The most effective antibiotic in the fight against blue-green algae is bitsillin-5. It should be diluted in proportion to one liter of water 10-20 thousand units.
The antibiotic goes on sale in bottles with a capacity of about one and a half million units. Before banging the wonder mix, mix the contents of the vial with 15 ml of plain water. This way you can dose the drug more easily.
The resulting mixture is enough to process from 70 to 150 liters of water in the aquarium.
The antibiotic is applied exclusively in front of the night, because when it interacts with the light, it decomposes quite quickly. Pre-turn off the filters and aerators, as this will significantly increase the efficiency of processing banks. Antibiotic Bicillin-5 contribute for three nights in a row.
The stronger the aquarium is contaminated with organic compounds, the more bicillin will have to be infused. If the aquarium is more or less clean and there are not many organics in it, then 10 thousand units. per liter of water is enough in full.
If your aquarium is badly damaged by the blue-green scourge and the organic matter is off scale, then a dosage of 20 thousand units is taken. per liter of water. But only you have to take into account that when using such a concentrated solution, not only will all the algae go to the forefathers, but practically all the microflora of your aquarium.
The main part of this microflora is located in the aquarium soil. When using a solution with such a strong concentration of the antibiotic, biological balance may even falter and some plants will suffer.
If there are ferns and other grass that is sensitive to the composition of the water, then it will most likely die.
Four days after the use of the antibiotic, mostly algae begin to die en masse. This moment can not be missed and instantly rush to remove all this dirty trick from your tank by several water changes per week in the amount of 1/3 of the total.
If you choose the wrong proportion (insufficient), then somewhere in a couple of weeks the algae will start to grow rapidly again.
To enhance the effect of the use of antibiotics, they often resort to the use of dyes: methylene blue, trypaflavin and brilliant green. As practice has shown, excellent results are obtained by applying bitsillin-5 in the proportion of 10 thousand units. per liter of water and 1 mg of trypaflavin per liter of water.
Using brilliant green or blue, the dye should be added to the aquarium drip until the aquarium water takes a uniform color, and only after that it is necessary to add bitsillin-5 in the proportion of 10 thousand units. per liter of water. As observations have shown, other antibiotics (bicillin-3, penicillin, erythromycin and streptomycin) do not give such a good result, but sometimes one of the above-mentioned drugs helps better than the fifth bicillin. Here, as they say, only by trial and error you need to select the appropriate antibiotic.
To which drug the algae are more sensitive, so push them.
In addition to the above misfortune, brown algae comes to visit our aquariums. They are a dark-brown dense bloom that covers the walls of the aquarium, plants, soil.
This brown substance greatly spoils the aesthetic appearance of the reservoir and aquarium plants are well attached, which negatively affects their nutrition. It is rough to the touch and it is tightly connected with the base, which causes some difficulties in its mechanical removal.
Aquarium mollusks in the fight against this scourge you are not helpers, but the orderlies fish successfully fight with brown algae.
Why do these algae appear in the aquarium? The main reason is insufficient lighting.
The only true way to deal with them is the right light mode. It is not just being said that for the normal existence of any aquarium, the correct light regime is needed, which will not allow the brown algae to grow in your aquarium.
In the fight against brown filth to use all sorts of chemicals and antibiotics is useless.
As summer approaches in the banks that stand next to the windows, especially those that look east and south, the water becomes muddy and green. I already have an article on how to get rid of green algae, you can read it.
The reason for the turbidity and greening of water is the active reproduction of green algae. You can see such a phenomenon at any time of the year if you have a big day in the aquarium.
On the commonplace this phenomenon is called the blooming of water.
When the water in the aquarium is blooming, plants suffer greatly from this, because the green algae strongly shade them and suck out all the nutrients from the water and disturb the gas exchange in the can. If you limit the amount of light that enters your tank, you will significantly slow down the development of the green disaster.
And if you shade the aquarium for a few days, it usually leads to their complete destruction. But if you drastically restore the previous light mode, then this may serve as a new impetus to the development of uninvited guests.
Why it happens? The main reason for the resumption of algae development is the impaired biological balance.
If there is no overpopulation in the aquarium, the plants grow superbly and there is no excess of organic matter, then even a long day of light (16 hours) does not lead to water blooming. The reason is that in a reservoir in which the biological balance has settled, higher plants simply do not leave nutrients for absorption by green algae.
Also in the aquarium green uninvited guests eat the simplest organisms, which abound in our banks. If the aquatic population is overpopulated, then the number of protozoa eating green “guests” is significantly reduced.
Almost all fry eat the simplest organisms to which the ciliates shoe can be counted, which actively destroys the green algae. It turns out that the lack of the simplest, which are the main enemies of “colored water”, is another reason for the appearance of the latter.
How to deal with water bloom?
Frequent replacement of large amounts of water and the use of ordinary filters does not give any results. These methods sometimes help, but if used together with the shading of the aquarium.
But again, this method can be used if there are practically no fish in the aquarium. The substitution of a large amount of water can be an impetus for the development of green algae, as in fresh water there is a large amount of nutrients that benefit uninvited guests.
Very well proven ozone aquarium. If the water is treated with ozone in a special tank for some time, during which up to 5 volumes of the aquarium passes, you can observe the complete destruction of green algae. After a couple of hours, dead greens will settle on the aquarium soil, after which they need to be collected using a funnel hose.
You can also try to clean the water through an aquarium filter, the filler is finely porous. Water will not bloom long enough, even though the biological equilibrium is still settled.
You can neutralize flowering Algoshko. After treatment with this preparation, green turbidity becomes discolored and white turbidity from dead algae or precipitated with special coagulants, or after a while is filtered by the filter itself.
You can also fight with colored water with antibiotics. The main assistant in this is bitsillin-5. Sometimes you can kill all the muck after one application.
The concentration of the drug in the treatment of water is the same as in the fight against the already known blue-green algae. Penicillin also showed itself well.
It is brought in a similar dose as bicillin-5 (from 10 to 20 thousand units per liter of water), but it is very important to bring it into the aquarium for two or three nights in a row.
As with the fight against blue-green algae, the combination of dyes and antibiotics also gives an excellent effect. If there is not a lot of green algae in the aquarium and the water is not very turbid, then one use of trypaflavin at a dosage of 1 mg per liter of water can be enough to completely destroy the green single-celled guests.
Other multicellular and unicellular algae, which often drop in our aquariums, are also included in the green algae order. Formation on the walls of aquariums and leaves of plants of green areas and green bloom, similar to nap, suggests that there is an excess of lighting in the aquarium.
In this situation, it is desirable to reduce the light day to 10 hours. If this does not help and the algae grows and grows, then reduce the brightness.
A certain number of green guests are present even in aquariums in which biological balance has been established, but this does not indicate a poor body of water. On the contrary, the presence of green hairy islands on glasses and plants suggests that the reservoir correctly contains and the aquatic environment in it is clean.
Defeating multicellular algae is possible only by establishing the correct mode of maintenance of the aquarium. Thread is best mechanically removed from the aquarium, but as an option, you can try a willow branch.
There is an article on the blog about this, I did this to myself twice and both times successfully. But if you do not want to bother, then take a wooden faceted wand and wind filamentous algae on it.
Relatively rare diatoms appear in our aquariums. The main feature of these single-celled is that they accumulate in themselves an excessive amount of silicon oxide, which contributes to the appearance on them of a solid outer shell.
These algae have a rounded shape and to the touch rather dense. The impression was that they sprinkled sand on the glasses and leaves of higher plants.
The color of these algae may be brown or dark green.
It is very difficult to deal with them and the known methods of cleaning will not help you. Invertebrates do not cause significant harm to these algae. A similar situation is with the fish-orderlies.
It remains only to prevent their occurrence by maintaining the correct mode in the aquarium. To begin with, choose the right lighting and keep the water temperature 24-25 degrees.
It is also very important to keep the aquarium clean and regularly change the water. If you do the above operations, then you do not leave the diatom algae any chance of development.
In addition, diatom guests have a huge number of competitors who suppress the development of diatom pests.
All of the above algae, we have long been known and how to deal with them, we also know. However, there are still other representatives of the lower ones belonging to the purplisha division (red algae).
One of the representatives of red algae has the appearance of filamentous black tufts, the pile length of which varies from 5 to 7 centimeters. Fortunately, these representatives of the lower ones are easily removed from the base on which they grow, so you can clean your aquarium from them without the slightest problem.
But there is another representative of the crimson, who is also considered kompsopogon and known to the public as “Flip” or “black beard.” This pest is a brush with short, hard black hairs.
You may not be able to tear them from the base, and if they grow on plants, then removing the bundle and not damaging the leaf of the plant will not work in any way. So much they penetrate into the tissues of higher plants, that it is impossible to tear them off.
But we must pay tribute to the algae – it does not cause any harm to the plant, it just grows there.
Konstopogony are mixotrophic plants that can feed on both prepared organic compounds and independently synthesize organic matter for nutrition. “Black beard” can be seen in those aquariums, in which the content of organic compounds is high. A flip-flop can form a fairly dense carpet. The substance itself is covered with bloom and slippery to the touch.
Rarely when the length of the pile in the beam exceeds a centimeter in length.
In cans with clean and clear water, the compresopogon practically does not reproduce and is found there only as separate bundles on stones, snags, plants and soil. But in this case, the length of the pile may be slightly longer than usual and to touch the bundle is rough.
No fish and shellfish to help in the fight against them are not able to. Even chemicals in the arsenal of an aquarist who do not harm plants, can do anything with a compass.
The most effective remedy against the “black beard” is Algimin from Tetra, which can sometimes be purchased at pet stores. The most interesting, but this miracle drug has a smooth effect on other algae.
You can meet on the Internet on the advice of a sharp change in pH in the direction of the acidic environment, they say it stops the development and even destroys the “beard”. Yes, this method has a positive effect on reducing the growth of these algae, but if you drastically change the pH, it will be bad for plants and fish. This pH level must be kept for a week, but for the inhabitants of the aquarium, this is detrimental.
However, this method is useless to use if there is a lot of excess organic matter in the aquarium.
There is also an opinion that kompsopogon slows down its growth when the pH rises above 8, and if it is raised to 9, then the algae will die. Alkaline environment of the magnificent carry both fish and plants.
But then again, if there is an excess of organic compounds in aquarium water, even a high pH level of about 9 will not have any effect on the “black beard”. Simply organic suspensions settle on bunches “Vietnamese”, isolating it thus from the harmful effects of the environment.
How to deal with the “black beard”
To win the “black beard” you need to use a whole range of certain activities. Start by creating a weakly alkaline environment with a pH of around 8 in a submerged garden. A less stable alkaline environment will be maintained only in hard water, so it is very important to maintain a hardness of about 8 units.
The next step that needs to be taken seriously is to remove excess organic matter. Reduce the aquarium population to a minimum, preferably 10 liters of water per fish up to 6-7 centimeters.
Reduce the aquarium purge to a minimum – the main thing is that the jet of bubbles does not lift organic particles from the ground.
Be sure to replace at least once a week ¼ – 1/5 of the volume of water and do not forget to drain the soil through the funnel. If you change the water more often, the result you will achieve much faster.
It is very important that the poured water has the same hardness and acidity as the water in the aquarium. If you comply with the above conditions, then you can get rid of the “black beard” in about 2 months. Of course, kompsopogon may reappear in the aquarium again after a while, but if it contains pure and at least extra organic matter, it will not develop rapidly.
That’s probably all that I wanted to tell you about unwanted neighbors in the aquarium. I did not climb into the wilds and touched on the main aspects of algae and methods of dealing with them, since the above pests appear almost in every aquarium. Use these tips to practice and your garden will never suffer from algal scourge.
See you soon!